27 Nov Guard Our Words
Verses to Read
<Eph 4:29-32> Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you…. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
<1 Cor 13:4-5> Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
<James 3:9-11> With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?
What is swearing and cursing?
It is an expression of anger, bitterness, unforgiveness or callousness shown through the loose languages of men.
What is the reason we use it so often?
1) Because we are angry
2) Because my friends use it (peer pressure to be accepted)
3) Because it sounds cool and expressive
4) Because it aids us in inflicting verbal abuse on someone else as a form of revenge
The real issue
We are using it habitually, thinking that it is harmless but we are firstly not glorifying God, and secondly, we are acting on our impulse to use it at the onset of negative feelings.
Now, it doesn’t mean we will not fall at times where it is possible that we could suddenly spurt out some profanities when we are badly provoked. May God have mercy on us. Yet when we are using it so naturally and carefreely, it does seem that we have no regards for the holiness of God. The main thing is, there is absolutely no love in these words.
What is the Bible stand of this?
1) These unwholesome talk have nothing to do with the ministering of love and grace in Christianity. Think about it: Is it easy if we have scolded someone vulgarities once, and in the next moment tell him that Jesus loves him and invite him to church? And if we have use these language on a person so freely, do you think we can still love the person with dignity? Sometimes, we may even use them on our siblings and brethren.
2) Profanities reflect the anger and bitterness within a person.
Pastor John Piper says: “People who use a lot of four letter words are generally angry. They are not content. They are not happy in Jesus. Something is out of whack in their heart.” And when the heart is filled with these, there the devil works intensely. That’s why where profanities increases, evangelism is hard to take place, and love is difficult to be practiced. Men will become more selfish and self-serving.
3) We children of God can never benefit from profanities.
- Cannot learn to control my heart. Using profanities make our heart loose. We become prone to using all kinds of profanities frequently. Then we will realize that we cannot articulate things logically and calmly. We may become more compulsive and unable to reason things calmly. Eventually, when we get too used to it, we will even turn violent against people. Remember, verbal abuse will slowly move towards physical abuse.
- Cannot make true friends. Even though we can push people to do things to our will through profanities, (e.g. Using profanities to push my teammates to get their act right in rugby matches, or get my lazy army mates to wise up), we may lose their friendship and respect. Why? Because using it is demeaning, especially towards a human being.
- Cannot evangelize. The more we use profanities, our words to evangelize and encourage others are being taken away by the devil. Because there is no way to live by a clear conscience to love when we are offensive within.
How should we overcome this through Christ?
(1) The Lord is forgiving to us and understand our inability if we truly repent before Him for our loose and angry hearts, and also the use of profanities. Therefore, ask for His forgiveness and Holy Spirit’s help.
(2) Deal with the compulsion to take revenge by looking to the Lord Jesus. Sometimes, the moment someone did something that jeopardize our benefit, or brought inconvenience to us, think about the Lord Jesus who died for us sinner first, instead of thinking of revenge. A revengeful heart will cause you to spurt out a few words of profanities, but a reflective heart will restrain our tongue from using words as knives.
(3) Read the Bible and pray to God. The Bible is filled with God’s love and promises. Read it and let it inscribe upon our hearts through prayer. Gradually, our nature will become gentler and less self-centered, thus reducing the tendency to curse and swear.
(4) Learn to evangelize and speak words of encouragement to others. The Bible says: “Learn to speak words that help in building others up according to their needs”. Now, when was the last time you praised your loved ones? Have you encouraged your brethren? Have you posted something that is praiseworthy on social media? If not, that could explain why you are prone to profanities. The Bible says: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” <Romans 12:21>. The more you speak words of encouragement and evangelize through your mouth, the evil profanities will depart from your mouth.